Avoid the shame and secrecy of crossdressing

Today I was listening to a TED talk on shame by Brene Brown. She said, “If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgement. If you put the same shame in a petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.”

I got shivers up my spine as I thought about my transgender experience. Shame has been a constant companion through my journey, it has haunted me even as I asked the question of my readers,  “Are you ashamed of being a crossdresser” and even when I stand on the mountaintop victorious over shame I’m aware that it still bides it’s time, hoping for an insurrection of my spirit.


Those in the transgender community know secrecy well. It has been our bed fellow since before we knew what it meant. Growing up in secrecy we hid our feelings. As we blossomed into adulthood we desperately fought to keep our deepest darkest from others. Like a cancer from within, secrecy ate our souls.


Like twin demons dancing down the path to despair, silence and secrecy skip hand in hand. Our desire for secrecy kept us silent, and the silence of the community kept others silent. A lot has changed in the last 10 years. The voices of those who can no longer embrace secrecy has sent a cry of hope out into the silence. This was the reason I started Crossdresser Heaven. At first it was my cry for help – to myself, to understand what I was going through. Then it became my cry of hope – small though it may be, I added my voice to the chorus of those offering advice, encouragement and solace. I told my transgender story. I shared your transgender stories.


Yet judgement wandered among us still – the judgement of our hearts, the judgement of those with little understanding or care. They condemned us as sinners, as heathens and accused us of all manner of debauchery. They stripped down our identity to a single word, erasing all our good deeds and contributions to hang the sign, “Transgender” around our necks. For many the shame was so strong that we bowed our heads and wore this brand as if it were tattooed on our hearts.


It does not need to be this way. We do not need to hide in secret, weep in silence or cower at the judgement foisted upon us. Dear readers, lovely ladies and beautiful kindred spirits, I understand your walk. I know your shame, I feel your struggle, and I hold your hand as you get back up one more time. We are here together. Alone they can isolate us, ridicule us. Together we are strong. Together we can change laws and melt hearts. Together we can find comfort and share warmth.

Together we can pour the salve of empathy on shame. Dousing it so thoroughly that no secrecy, or silence, or judgement can ever infect the beauty of who we are created to be. For all those who have not heard it yet, today I say to you, “me too.


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I’m passionate about creating a safe space for everyone in the transgender community to find laughter and friendship on their journey. I completed my physical transition in 2011 and through it I lost everything, and gained everything. I am blessed that I was forced to gaze inward and embark on the journey to discover and live my authentic self. My deepest wish is that all who wander here may find peace, happiness and freedom.

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2 years ago

Great read! Sadly it is to true for most likely most if not all of us. Very good point “together we are strong".

Gaje Snolyn
2 years ago

Wonderful article!! Thank you!!

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Erica Mathiasen
2 years ago

Vanessa – I hope you see my comment. Thank you for all that you have done for us!

With the warmest of thanks,


Ambermaria Martinez
Active Member
1 year ago

Omg an I ashamed of being a cross dresser no I’m not buy no means at all I’ve been crossdressing over 40 years and I’m so so much happier when I get fully dressed and wear a beautiful dress and have makeup on and gourgous perfume I’m so so ready to FINALLY transition to be the woman I always felt I was and wanted to be all my life so to all my gourgous sisters out here PLEASE DONT EVER FEEL SHAMEFUL FOR HOW YOU LOVE TO BE THIS IS A BEATIFUL WONDERFUL JOURNEY WE ARE ALL ON bd and… Read more »

Stephanie Browne
Active Member
7 months ago

The answer is" a girl, but
Coming out to my grown son and some business associates is still secret and I fear rejection there still. How to fully be me?

Jenny Lynn
7 months ago

Secrecy, shame and loneliness. My constant companions. Thank you for what you’ve done here. It helps, but I still feel so all alone outside of this site.

Jennifer Friendly
Active Member
5 months ago

Oh I, and don’t the vast majority of us, especially those of us in the greater years, understand this article. I’ve known since I was young, probably puberty, that I was “different", but social programming kept me deep in the closet, living a lie about who I was, ashamed of my feelings. People got hurt, some seriously, for being like me. I am so very glad that attitudes have changed, and are still evolving. I’ve been traveling this journey for such a long time, I’ve finally reached the point where I leave the house, go visit a friend, even went… Read more »

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